Microsoft Expands “Highway to a 100 Unicorns” Initiative to Support Startups in Asia Pacific

 |   Microsoft Indonesia

Microsoft for Startups launches the Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative in Asia Pacific to strengthen the region’s startup ecosystem. This follows the initiative’s success in India, where only 56 startups were selected to the Emerge X program from six states, which have over 15000+ startups. The Emerge X winners have greatly benefited with global market access support, a 3-day founder bootcamp with world class mentors, access to funding, ongoing mentorship, and guidance on Azure, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more.

Innovation is critical to unlocking inclusive economic growth in Asia Pacific; high income economies in the region invest three times more in research and development as compared to their peers. To spur innovative entrepreneurship, Microsoft will work closely with governments and industry partners to discover and nurture technology startups with a high potential to become truly global enterprises in the future.

Ricky Kapur, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft Asia Pacific said, “Startups play a vital role in our economy as innovators, disruptors and first-movers. Through Highway to a 100 Unicorns, we will enable startups in APAC so they can have real impact in their markets and drive digital innovation in the region. We look forward to walking with more founders along their growth journey and supporting them to scale and achieve more.”

 Emerge X Competition

Innovators and entrepreneurs from a total of 16 countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) are invited to be a part of the Highway to a 100 Unicorns initiative.

In Indonesia, wave of startups has emerged and competing. According to Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia ranks fifth in the world with 2,193 startups in 2019 after the US, India, UK, and Canada. With strong support from the government, Indonesia already has five startups “Unicorn”,

“We are committed to helping Indonesia achieve more and hope that this opportunity can be used to scale up Indonesian startups, both in terms of technology and business process, that would help provide solutions that will empower the Indonesian digital economy,” said Haris Izmee, President Director of Microsoft Indonesia.  Microsoft has many solutions that can help startups focus on their customers, while building a solution for new and existing problems that can be solved with automation and technology.”

To be considered, startups will first have to submit an application for Emerge X competitions in their countries. Criteria for startups to apply for Emerge X is as follows:

  1. Business-to-Business companies with product-market fit, revenue generating with at least 3-4 clients.
  2. Business-to-Customer companies with a large customer base (upward of 100K customers) and are revenue generating.
  3. Funding is a plus.

All Emerge X startups will be awarded with free GitHub and Azure credits and focused business and technology workshops. Three finalists per country will be announced in November. They will additionally benefit from a year-long mentorship with technical and business deep dives, a Founder Bootcamp over 3 days, access to enterprise clients globally through Microsoft’s unique co-sell program as well as opportunities to interact with Microsoft experts and industry stalwarts.

Information Webinars for Interested Startups

Date and Time:

  • 14 October, 09:30 – 10:30 WIB
  • 14 October, 15.30 – 16.30 WIB
  • 15 October, 09:30 – 10:30 WIB

Link to register: 

APPLY for the Emerge X competition:

  • Submit an application on GrowthEnabler:
  • Startups must bring their GrowthEnabler profile to 80% to be considered.
  • Applications close on 31 October 2020.
  • For any support, please contact [email protected]